A perfect day for a smoking barbecue

smoked pork belly, duck breast and beef ribs

Sunshine, hot weather and a long weekend is an invite to a barbecue. I spoke to my friend and we decided to fire up the smoker. We had a bit of a brainstorming over a pint in the pub and the first vegetable that came up was onions and beetroots.

We didn’t stop at the onions and beets, a pork belly came to mind and beef short ribs sounded too good to resist. I picked up a duck breast as well, it tastes amazing when smoked, but will cover that in the next blog post.


We started with the beef short ribs as they would take the longest to cook.


Smoked beef short ribs

preparation time 10 minutes

cooking time 4 1/2 hours + minimum 6 hours for the ribs to soak in the brine + 30 minutes resting time 

oven 150C or 302F

serves 4


  • 6 beef short ribs

The brine

  • 9 dl or 4 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 10 fresh bay leaves

Place the water, sugar salt and bay leaves in a pan and stir until the salt and sugar has dissolved. Let it cool completely before adding the ribs.

Cover and keep in the fridge. Over night if you can to make sure the meat is tenderized and picks up the flavors.

Heat the oven and roast the ribs for 2 – 2 1/2 hours loosely covered in tin foil. Start the smoker, it should be the same temperature as the oven before adding the ribs. Smoke the ribs for an additional 2 hours, or until tender.

You can cook the ribs the whole time in the smoker but the smoker wasn’t ready so I wanted to give them a bit of a head start in the oven.


beef ribs in the smoker


Let the smoker do it’s magic, don’t peak too often and they are ready when the meat falls off the bone and they melt in your mouth.


smoked beef rib


The ribs will have a slightly caramelized outside and tender meat inside. The fat is packed with smoked beef flavor.


Pork crackling is one of my favorite things to eat and I wanted to make sure that we had crackling from the pork belly.


Smoked pork belly with crackling

preparation time 5 minutes + over night in the fridge 

cooking time 3 hours + 30 minutes resting time (minimum)

oven 250C or 482F for 30 minutes and then 150C or 302F 

serves 3-4


  • 1 pork belly, about 2 1/2 kg or 80oz
  • rice wine vinegar
  • salt
  • cayenne pepper
  • Chinese five spice

Start the night before or in the morning if you are cooking in the evening. Clean and pat dry the pork belly. Brush the skin with rice wine vinegar and sprinkle with salt. Leave un covered in  the fridge over night. The skin should be dry to touch in the morning.

Rub the skin with cayenne pepper, be generous.

Rub Chinese five spice on to the meat, don’t forget the sides. Place in an oven tray and roast for 30 minutes. The skin will start to crackle and form little bubbles.


pork belly with crackling


Turn the heat down and let the pork belly cook for another 30 minutes before placing it in the smoker with the beef ribs for 2 more hours of cooking.


pork belly in the smoker


Don’t worry, it has been a bit of a meat feast so far but the vegetables went in with the meats. My friend prepared those.


Beetroot, red onion, grapefruit and garlic went in to one tray, with bay leaves, thyme and oil. They came out looking amazing.


Smoked beetroot, garlic and red onions


roasted beetroot


smoked red onion


My friend also prepared apricots, perfect for smoking. He added thyme, demerara sugar, garlic cloves, grapefruit and his Jamaican juice, a kind of hot sauce that he makes.




The apricots came out golden, soft and delicious. The addition of grapefruit was my favorite.


M bought a crab as a starter. I timed myself picking it and I did it in a, for me, record breaking six minutes.

I mixed the brown meat with a little mayonnaise and garlic. I added a hint of lemon juice to the white meat and served on my Carta Di Musica, the super thin Sardinian flatbreads. They went very well with a glass of cool white wine .


crab canapes


I served the ribs as they were and sliced the pork belly with the vegetables and the apricots.


smoked pork belly, duck breast and beef ribs


It was the best barbecue we have done so far in the smoker. Everyone tucked in and I have to admit we ate everything! I was sure we would have lots of leftovers but it turned out I was wrong.

We ended with fruit and cheese and another friend brought a cheese from Georgia that was just amazing. It came in a pot that didn’t look much but as we started getting the cheese out it seemed to expand.


Georgian stringy cheese


It was absolutely delicious and reminded me of halumi cheese in flavor and texture but it was stringy, such a treat!

We sat outside for a long time before finally, with slightly cold limbs move inside for one last glass of wine to digest the food and still catching up on what we had all been up to lately. The trip to Georgia was by far the most interesting, it sounded like a great place to go!
















14 Responses to “A perfect day for a smoking barbecue”
  1. Sandhya says:

    What a feast Petra! Everything looks picture perfect. I love the color of those beets and the apricots. The stringy cheese is such a treat!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Sandhya
      Thank you! It was! The whole smoker was full with meat and veg and it was still light! Smoked beets are great and the apricots a nice surprise! The cheese was great! I must have a look for it in the shops here! Apparently it is great for melting as well! 🙂

  2. Oh- this looks so yummy! SEND SOM OVER! 😉

  3. Vicky Jones says:

    Great post I am planning to buy a smoker/bbq advice on brands and use would be amazing.

    • petra08 says:

      hi Vicky
      Glad you like it and thank you for stopping by 🙂
      This bbq was made in an Original Jerk smoker, https://originaljerk.co.uk/ but Weber is always good I find. I hope you get one, it is such a treat in the summer 🙂
      Have a lovely weekend!

  4. turkswhoeat says:

    I would LOVE a plate of these short ribs! I am totally craving bbq after reading this.

    • petra08 says:

      Hi Alex and Mehmet
      Thank you! The ribs went first I have to admit! It was a lot of meat but lots of veg as well! And it is always a good time to have a bbq! 🙂
      Enjoy the weekend!

  5. Wow! Love the veggies 😊😊😊

  6. petra08 says:

    Hi Jack
    Thank you for the mention! 🙂
    Have a good weekend!

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  1. […] from another English girl Petra, and her blog Food Eat Love, we have; a perfect day for a smoking barbecue.  You know what?  All my attempts at a barbecue smoke too […]

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